The French Senate appealed to the government of France to gradually lift economic sanctions against Russia, Evropeyskaya Pravda reported. The decision was made at the evening session after a 4-hour discussion where 302 senators voted in favor while 16 voted against.
While the decision has no binding power over the government of France, it is nevertheless a political position that puts forward the recommendations of the Parliament. Evropeyskaya Pravda noted that the final wording of the resolution has not been published yet. A number of revisions of the text of the document were made. Parliament's position was somewhat mitigated during the debate, which culminated in the proposals for gradual removal of sanctions.
The Senate resolution, in contrast to the resolution of the National Assembly—the lower house of the French parliament—has a more balanced content. One of its main provisions is the requirement for the Senate to confirm its "continued commitment to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and to condemn the annexation of Crimea by Russia."
On May 27th, G7 leaders agreed to extend sanctions against Russia in June. Moscow called this decision absurd. Later, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed that Russia’s counter- sanctions be extended up to the end of 2017.